DIY and home improvement product retailer Wickes expects the snowy weather at the start of December to have a negative effect on its financial performance for the last month of the year.
In a statement from its parent company Travis Perkins, published today, it was revealed that the “exceptionally poor weather” will have had an impact on trading following two months of “satisfactory market growth and market share gains”.
A high percentage of Wickes’ stores are located in out-of-town retail parks, and recent research from Kelkoo and the Centre for Retail Research said that most non-food stores and edge-of-town retail centres witnessed a reduction in customer traffic and purchases in the first week of December.
Travis Perkins’ trading update also said that Wickes was performing well prior to the snowfall, with total turnover for the 47-week trading period to November 27th up 2.7 per cent year-on-year.
Like-for-like (LFL) turnover per trading day was up 0.6 per cent, with core products down by 2.1 per cent, but kitchen and bathroom sales increasing by 12.5 per cent.
The impending VAT rise from 17.5 to 20 per cent seems to have encouraged some customers to purchase big ticket items for the home, with LFL turnover per day in the last eight weeks up 4.2 per cent on last year.
Travis Perkins said: “In total, group turnover for the 11 months to the end of November was up 6.5 per cent compared to the equivalent period in 2009.
“We continue to gain LFL market share in both our merchanting and retail divisions.”